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Old 11-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #1
DR-FEELGOOD-96
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Bass on Guitar Amp

So I heard that you can't plug your bass in on an electric guitar amp. Well you can but the speaker might get messed up right? So I've been wanting to start playing bass since I'm starting to get bored of my electric and acoustic guitars. The thing is I don't have much money to invest in a bass and a bass amp since I'm in high school and jobless. So I was thinking what if I buy a cheap used bass and plug it in my guitar amp, but I connect the headphones to not blow the speaker? Would it even sound good, I hear that a guitar amp can't really pick up the low frequencies of a bass. Will this be the case even if I use Headphones?
By the way, My amp is a Line 6 Spider IV 15-Watt Amp.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:08 PM   #2
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You can use headphones and the amp will be fine, but it will sound pretty crap. Mind you tone is always subjective so you might like it!

The only beef with using a guitar amp for bass is just like you mentioned, the speaker. Guitar amp speakers aren't made to handle the low frequencies of bass guitar which means that the speaker cone will be forced to move further than it was designed to do...which in turn = a perfectly good guitar speaker destroyed

Alternatively you can find a cheap bass cab to use with your guitar amp (if it has an external speaker output?). It wouldn't even have to be a bass cab, it can just be a sub woofer.
When you're on a tight budget it's best to just go with trial and error with what you can get your hands on. Just make sure you avoid using the guitar combo amp's speaker. Some cats here will say that you can get away with playing a bass through it quietly but really, it's just not worth it!

Peace!
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J3G2
You can use headphones and the amp will be fine, but it will sound pretty crap. Mind you tone is always subjective so you might like it!
Peace!


Shouldn't sound crap. The reason tones got from guitar amps are usually less desirable is more to do with the speakers (in my experience). By plugging in headphones you're only having to contend with the guitar pre-amp, which will mean the low frequencies ought to still be intact.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:16 PM   #4
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Headphones would be all right, using the amp's speaker is to destroy it in a surprisingly short time. Still, it's a Line 6 Spyder, so you shouldn't look after it too much
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziphoblat
Shouldn't sound crap. The reason tones got from guitar amps are usually less desirable is more to do with the speakers (in my experience). By plugging in headphones you're only having to contend with the guitar pre-amp, which will mean the low frequencies ought to still be intact.


You're probably right. I'm just basing this off of my experiences with guitar amps...to be honest I'm yet to play a bass through headphones via an amp (bass or guitar) which actually sounds half pleasing, but that's just my tastes.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:13 AM   #6
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I'll try plugging in a subwoofer I have lying around, if not i'll just stick with the headphones until i find a decent and reasonably priced bass amp.
Thanks guys
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:41 AM   #7
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I wouldn't bother with a subwoofer, those are only designed to output the really low stuff that you feel more than you hear so it's probably gonna give you an undefined, muddy, boomy, and just generally unpleasant tone. If you have headphones that can reproduce the lower frequencies alright then you won't do your amp any harm if you have those plugged in.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:35 AM   #8
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One Of These Threads Needs To Be Stickied So This Stops Happening Every Week
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Casketcreep
One Of These Threads Needs To Be Stickied So This Stops Happening Every Week


Evidently the people making said threads have paid no attention to the stickies anyway, so unfortunately it wouldn't make a difference.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziphoblat
Evidently the people making said threads have paid no attention to the stickies anyway, so unfortunately it wouldn't make a difference.

maybe we should just rename the forum?
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:06 PM   #11
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:16 PM   #12
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You can get a practice amp for cheap. And I don't think your speaker will blow up at low volumes. People always play through guitar amps at our school and nothing has happened. Of course it's not recommended but I don't think the speaker will blow up unless you crank the volume up. But yeah, if you can find a cheap bass, you will find a cheap bass amp. Some people sell their old practice amps for less than $50. Also you could ask your friends if they have some old practice amps (if some of your friends play bass).
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtshark
I have one word of advice. DON'T.

Why not? if he uses headphones then the speaker won't be damaged, and the amp doesn't care about the frequencies so why not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
You can get a practice amp for cheap. And I don't think your speaker will blow up at low volumes. People always play through guitar amps at our school and nothing has happened. Of course it's not recommended but I don't think the speaker will blow up unless you crank the volume up.

The TS is saying he will use headphones so he doesn't blow the speaker, which shows very good sense (especially for a guitarist ). Why on earth would you try convince him otherwise?
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chatterbox272
Why not? if he uses headphones then the speaker won't be damaged, and the amp doesn't care about the frequencies so why not?


The TS is saying he will use headphones so he doesn't blow the speaker, which shows very good sense (especially for a guitarist ). Why on earth would you try convince him otherwise?

Yeah. I wasn't saying that he should. I just said that the speaker won't blow up. But I don't play bass through my guitar amp even though I don't have a bass amp. But really, people used Vox AC30 combos for bass in the '60s and Marshall guitar stacks. Not saying you should because I wouldn't. I play my bass unplugged or use my RP355 multi FX pedal with headphones.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
Yeah. I wasn't saying that he should. I just said that the speaker won't blow up. But I don't play bass through my guitar amp even though I don't have a bass amp. But really, people used Vox AC30 combos for bass in the '60s and Marshall guitar stacks. Not saying you should because I wouldn't. I play my bass unplugged or use my RP355 multi FX pedal with headphones.


You don't seem to be aware that the amps you've mentioned were available in Guitar or Bass versions with different speakers for either, I used a Vox AC30 loaded with factory fitted bass speakers from 1963-9.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J3G2
Alternatively you can find a cheap bass cab to use with your guitar amp (if it has an external speaker output?). It wouldn't even have to be a bass cab, it can just be a sub woofer.
When you're on a tight budget it's best to just go with trial and error with what you can get your hands on. Just make sure you avoid using the guitar combo amp's speaker. Some cats here will say that you can get away with playing a bass through it quietly but really, it's just not worth it!

Peace!


Just remember you can damage a low wattage amplifier by playing bass through it at high levels, bass frequencies require more power/watts when played at high levels, this can cause overheating in the output stage generaly causing eventual failure.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Swift
You don't seem to be aware that the amps you've mentioned were available in Guitar or Bass versions with different speakers for either, I used a Vox AC30 loaded with factory fitted bass speakers from 1963-9.

OK, I didn't know there were bass versions of Vox AC30. Of course you can upgrade a bass speaker yourself.
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Just rememeber that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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Old 11-11-2012, 01:20 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
OK, I didn't know there were bass versions of Vox AC30. Of course you can upgrade a bass speaker yourself.


As you looked at the grille cloth of the AC30 there was a small plastic nameplate in the bottom corner which said Bass on the bass versions.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziphoblat
Evidently the people making said threads have paid no attention to the stickies anyway, so unfortunately it wouldn't make a difference.



I've made a point of writing this in every thread I've seen. (must be at least 30 now)
If we have a sticky at the top with big capital letters saying 'Bass in guitar amp' we will not have to endure these threads all the time.

And as a bonus we won't have the ignorant newbies giving them wrong information as well. That does my head in.
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